#ImNoAngel

I had a dream the other night, one that had the sleeping me feeling so light and joyous, so much so that after I woke and cleared the cobwebs from my brain, I was still feeling the lingering happiness from it. I remember smiling as I swung my legs out of bed, my feet hitting the floor before starting my morning. I don’t know if anyone else has ever experienced a dream as completely as I did that night? I can only hope that you have, or will.

What was the dream? (It’s going to sound very narcissistic, but I promise its not!) I was, in my dream, my minds eye, so happy and thrilled with the look, share, and contours of my body, but most especially my stomach. The dream me had a flatter stomach, shapely thighs, and a waist that curved the way it’s supposed to.

After my feet hit the floor, still riding on that sleep high, I walked into the bathroom and turned on the light, looking at myself critically. The difference was, this time I was more accepting of myself. Was this a result of the dream? Or was it a result of a challenge that a friend gives me every once in a while while we are at lunch, having me name one thing I love about myself that day? Or was it me finally listening to my own words that I share with others, trying to get them to change their way of thinking? I don’t know. Was I happy with my body when I looked in the mirror that morning? No, not 100%. I know I have room for improvement, but its nice to not be as repulsed as I once was. I am still a work in progress.

Then this morning, checking my email before crawling out of bed to start my day, there was an email from Lane Bryant with their new campaign, #ImNoAngel, designed to represent the beautiful, amazing, real, average woman whose size falls in the spectrum larger than a 10. The #ImNoAngel message was beautiful put:

Some say

That sexy is defined

In just one way

But I say

It’s how I feel

It’s who I am

I’m all woman

A symbol of confidence

Who writes her own rules

And sometimes breaks them too

I’m beautiful

From my soul out to my skin

Loving every part of me

No matter what I’m in

I’m a woman

Unique and complete

I break the mold

Throw out the old

I’m all kinds of sexy

Movin’ On

Sometimes I wonder if Julie Andrews was right when,  from high atop a mountaintop in Austria, arms spread wide, she sings, “Climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every by way, every path you know… ”

I’ve talked in past blogs (I think) that a lot of life is based on perspective. A good friend of mine was advised to try and change perspective instead of letting things bother them so much. And they tried to, succeeding more often than not, but it seemed that finally the ability to change perspective just gets to be too much, that there are nor other options. No other glasses to look through. No kaleidoscope to peer through in hopes of seeing something -anything- better than it is.

You’ve lived on this mountain, trying everything to see better. You keep climbing up it, fighting battles, weathering all types of storms along the way. You either make it to the top, or you just know that that climb is too difficult.  Sometimes when you get to that point, at least to my way of thinking, its time to take drastic changes. If you don’t like the view that you have where you’re standing at, maybe its time to move to a new mountain.

You have the ability to change what you see, and how you see it. If you’re not happy, your friends will try their damnedest to cheer you up, but more often than not, the change, or choice, to be happy resides in you.  Is it easy? Nope. Is it scary? Hell, yes. Are you with taking the chance on? Absolutely. Go for it!7b7440cc3ac22a93fc7fbd164437f060

Masks II

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I’m a coward. Oh, I’m full of big talk when other people need my help, ask my opinion, or just need a good shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen, but when it comes to letting people know me? Not the top layer, but the real me that lies deep below the surface? Oh, no, I can’t let people get to know the real me. What will they think? Will they like this me? Hell, most of the time I don’t like that me, why would I ever think someone else would? I keep her hidden under so many masks that make up small parts of me…

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I know that the different masks that I hide behind are all parts of me, little snippets that I share here and there when I am finally comfortable enough with someone to let them in. I have a mask that I wear for my family, it’s one that is supposed to remain strong, that hides the fears and sorrows that I don’t want to share. This mask is made of a thick clay. It has survived so much, but like anything else, with time it has begun to crack, and I fear what will happen if it one day falls apart.

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Another mask that I wear, one that more people are getting to see and know, is my mask of creativity. Again, those damn insecurities about my writing, my singing, my expressionism, they hide behind a mask that is thin, like fine china, where you can see the light shining through it. It wouldn’t take much to break that one.

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The top most mask is the one I share with everyone. Only a select few get beneath this one. It is my shield. My line of defense against everything that comes at me. It holds truths about me, but it guards so many more. 9d31cb97bb2b71021afba95b798e41b2

How do I decide who to share the truth with? Oddly enough, the anonymity of this blog has been the most telling and revealing of the real, raw me there is. Its in writing this that I am trying to love myself. I remember writing enough blog post about masks over a year ago, and when I was rereading it just now, its odd to see how little has changed, and what masks I still hide behind. You can read that earlier post here. I try to face the darkness that hides in me, facing it dead on , and sharing it.

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How Do You See Things?

You know how sometimes you are so… off keel, that no matter how hard you try, nothing ever seems to work the right way? Nothing anyone says to you helps, in fact it only serves to push you closer to the edge of screaming than before? No matter how hard you try to get everything on your to-do list done, but so many other people or things force their way to the top of your list, to the point that, at the end of the day you feel like the white rabbit in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland saying, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get?” What if all it takes to get through those times is a new perspective?

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It took a moment of honest truth from a friend to make me realize that what I’m seeing might not be what’s really going on. Is it possible that I’m misinterpreting everything? Okay, yes, its very possible. But the realization is not without cost because now I have to remind myself that,  what I hear is not necessarily what is being said. It’s like trying to break a bad habit in myself… A near impossible feat.

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An artist can create perspective with the slash of a pencil, charcoal, or brush, changing how we see something, making it seem farther away, or nearer than it actually is. If you let things build higher and higher in your mind, eventually it’s going to topple like the tower in the game Jenga, and when it topples, it’ll take you with it. Its time to step back and look at it again with that new perspective, Its time to take control of your own life again.

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Hell hath no fury like a…

…Like a trainer scorned. Forget about the whole “woman scorned” thing, I stepped back into the gym, AKA Dungeon, on Friday to meet with my long ignored trainer, AKA Sadist, AKA Satan. I should have known something was up. Oh, he gave no easily recognized clues, but I should have picked up on the happy malevolence that was him.

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It started easily enough, warming up on the treadmill for 10 minutes of walking, getting the blood pumping a bit faster, warming up my neglected muscles. You all know the drill whether you are an gym rat, or a gym ghost (like me). There I am, happily plodding along on the treadmill, thinking various thoughts when he asks if I am ready to roll. I should never have said “yes” to that question…

Satan leads me into his den -er, office, where he announces that we are starting from scratch with me, need to get me back to the motivated, on track client that I once was, and then he cores the unspeakable… He pulls out the tape measure and the body fat thingy (*not its clinical name) and tells me to hop on the scale.

Efffffffffffffffffffffffff.

I knew what the scale would say, I had been to the doctor two days before that, so I walked out and walked back in, giving him that number. He wrote it down on the new, clean “progress” page, and then went to flipping back in his book to where I was before I basically quit on myself. I had ballooned all the way up to where I had been, plus an additional 20 pounds. You can see the progress I had made here.

After the weigh in and body fat analyst, he pulled out out the dreaded tape measure. Yeah, um, let’s just say my month of horrors began a few days early. It’s humbling to see myself reduced back to numbers again; numbers that I promised myself I would stay away from. What was even more distressing was the fact that I have let myself go so much that the workout had me huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf and sweating like a newbie at a chili pepper eating contest.

The question, or trick, is how to re-motivate myself? I know that it’s about my health, the very health I’ll need to watch my children eventually graduate college and grace me with grand babies. Ive looked throughout my home searching for a genie, or some “miracle fat cure” that would make this time around different from the last too-many-to-counts.

I’ll figure it out,  or at least try to. There are a lot of potholes on this road that I’ve laid in front of me, I just need to be better at dodging them.

josh